I hope You have been enjoying our “Back to the Basics” series this month. If You are new or missed a week, I’m going to do a quick recap of our series: We started our journey of by learning about the importance of a devotion time. The next week we learned about faith. Last week, we tackled Servanthood. Our topic this week is tithing. I ask that You please don’t get nervous or uncomfortable. Bethesda House nor any of our Pastors want Your money, I guarantee it. My job as Pastor is to teach the entire Bible, not just the parts You or I like.
What is the meaning of the word “tithe?”
Dictionary.com says, “Sometimes, tithes. the tenth part of agricultural produce or personal income set apart as an offering to God or for works of mercy, or the same amount regarded as an obligation or tax for the support of the church, priesthood, or the like.” Let’s look at the 1st instance on the Word of God where we see a tithe was given.
Genesis 14:20, “And blessed be God Most High, who has defeated your enemies for you.” Then Abram gave Melchizedek a tenth of all the goods he had recovered.”
Let’s talk about this for a moment. If You read chapter 14 in its’ entirety, You will learn that there was a great battle going on. Abram’s nephew, Lot, was captured in the midst of this battle. Now, we’ve all heard the saying “blood is thicker than water.” Well, this was even true way back in Bible days. Abram went to rescue His nephew as well as wreak havoc on those whom captured His family. As a result of this great victory, Abram was so grateful to God for blessing His endeavors that He gave the king of Salem and a priest of God Most High one tenth of all His earnings. This was the first instance of tithing in the Bible.
Let’s now look at some other scriptures concerning tithing. If You highlight in Your Bible, I would consider highlighting them and maybe go a step further and memorizing them.
Leviticus 27:30-32, and it reads: “One-tenth of the produce of the land, whether grain from the fields or fruit from the trees, belongs to the Lord and must be set apart to him as holy. If you want to buy back the Lord’s tenth of the grain or fruit, you must pay its value, plus 20 percent. Count off every tenth animal from your herds and flocks and set them apart for the Lord as holy.”
It is important to remember that at the time the Old Testament was written, they didn’t have currency like we have today. Their form of currency was livestock, grain, or the product that they made for a living.
Deuteronomy 14:22 and this goes along the same lines as the previous passage that we just read. It reads: “You must set aside a tithe of your crops—one-tenth of all the crops you harvest each year.”
Your crops represent Your paycheck each week (or however often You receive income).
Deuteronomy 14:23, Bring this tithe to the designated place of worship—the place the Lord your God chooses for his name to be honored—and eat it there in his presence. This applies to your tithes of grain, new wine, olive oil, and the firstborn males of your flocks and herds. Doing this will teach you always to fear the Lord your God.
The “designated place of worship” is the church that You attend on a regular basis. This is one reason You always hear my say: “If You are visiting, please do not feel pressured to give in the offering.”
Let’s look at this verse in the Amplified Bible Translation:
You shall eat the tithe (tenth) of your grain, your new wine, your oil, and the firstborn of your herd and your flock before the Lord your God in the place where He chooses to establish His Name (Presence), so that you may learn to fear [and worship] the Lord your God [with awe-filled reverence and profound respect] always.
Notice the ladder part of the verse explains why we should tithe, it reads: so that you may learn to fear [and worship] the Lord your God [with awe-filled reverence and profound respect] always.
Fear here, means respect. We respect God when we tithe 10% of our funds. We are basically says to God: “OK God, I recognize that it is You who gave me this income. I trust You with everything. To prove it, here is a portion of it.”
Tithing is trusting God with everything. If You put Your trust totally in God, He promises that He will take care of You. I can tell You first hand that this is true.
Malachi chapter 3 verses 8 through 12:
“Should people cheat God? Yet you have cheated me! “But you ask, ‘What do you mean? When did we ever cheat you?’ “You have cheated me of the tithes and offerings due to me. You are under a curse, for your whole nation has been cheating me. Bring all the tithes into the storehouse so there will be enough food in my Temple. If you do,” says the Lord of Heaven’s Armies, “I will open the windows of heaven for you. I will pour out a blessing so great you won’t have enough room to take it in! Try it! Put me to the test! Your crops will be abundant, for I will guard them from insects and disease. Your grapes will not fall from the vine before they are ripe,” says the Lord of Heaven’s Armies. “Then all nations will call you blessed, for your land will be such a delight,” says the Lord of Heaven’s Armies.
You see church, God gave us a promise that if we tithe, He will provide. If You turn to Hebrews chapter 6 verse 18, we find that there is one thing that God cannot do. He cannot lie. So God has given both his promise and his oath. These two things are unchangeable because it is impossible for God to lie. Therefore, we who have fled to him for refuge can have great confidence as we hold to the hope that lies before us.
God will take care of You, I guarantee it church! Tithe is not only important for Your own benefit, but it a direct command from God. It does not matter how much or how little You make in a given week or month, please tithe off of it. If this is not Your home church, give it to You home church. If this is Your home church, give it here. You will not regret it.
As we close tonight’s service, I have a question for You. Do You trust God in everything? If not, I would love to pray with You tonight.